A young boy who just turned 13 died earlier this month after jumping in front of a speeding SUV to save his sister.
Tyler Phillips of Medford, New York, was struck by a gray Chevrolet Equinox on Oct. 12 after pushing his sister, Krystal Randolph, out of the way. According to Randolph, the driver sent Phillips flying before fleeing the scene.
Both kids, who had been living in a shelter for a year, were walking home when the tragedy occurred.
"The car hit her first, and I guess he went to jump and grab her, and it just took him," Campbell, a family friend who witnessed the incident, told NBC4. "She said she watched him fly to the middle of the street, and she called an ambulance. They told her to give him CPR, and that was it."
Phillips, who celebrated his 13th birthday a day earlier, died three days later at Stony Brook University Hospital due to severe injuries.
"They tried to resuscitate him, and he was gone for 30 minutes," Phillips' mom, Desari Mac, told the outlet after first responders attempted to save her son.
"His vertebrate and his skull got separated, and he's got no brain function. … He's gone," she added.
"He saved my life," Randolph, also 13, said of her brother.
Despite the heartbreak, Phillip will be remembered as a hero for his actions.
"He will always be a hero," Mac said.
William Paca Middle School in Mastic Beach, New York, where both Phillips and Randolph attend, noted how heartbroken the community was over Phillips's death.
"While we are thankful that Krystal is expected to survive, we are heartbroken to learn of Tyler's passing," a statement from the school read. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Tyler's family and friends at this time."
According to The Daily Mail, detectives believe the car is a dark-colored 2005 to 2009 Chevrolet Equinox with damaged headlights and mirrors.
As reported by Faithwire, police are offering a $5,000 reward for information on the driver, who remains at large.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chalabala
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.